This week we chat to Jackie Chan, Global Marketing Asian OEM Team Lead at Shell, about the journey to carbon neutral and the key to maintaining successful long standing partnerships.
Much of the work Greenwich Design has done for you is with your OEM partners. What aspects do you need to consider when designing co-branded materials with two or more partners?
One of the reasons I choose to work with Greenwich is their familiarisation of the branding requirements for both companies, and the team’s understanding of the needs of the OEM customer. Working on co-branding initiatives with an important strategic partner such as Hyundai means we must have mutual respect for each other’s logo to leverage and maximise the use of it.
From the brief to artwork development, it’s important that the team get the look and feel right, but also understand and appreciate the commercial aspect of the product and make those elements stand out. That means ensuring the Shell logo is not overshadowing the customer logo or vice versa.
To create excitement at the trade level, you need an agency to understand where the product goes in the aftermarket and who the end customers are. When we were creating the label for Hyundai’s premium range, for example, I knew that Greenwich understood what colours could be used in the artwork, how to portray the ‘premium-ness’ of the products and how to create excitement with our target consumers.
With OEM partners, it’s important that both brands get equal weighting, and their own corporate guidelines are respected. How do you maintain this level of control at a local market level and how does Greenwich Design support that?
Greenwich Design and I have worked closely on this and have learned through experience on our journey together. The composite logo guidelines we developed with Hyundai are a great example. One of the reasons I love working with Hyundai is that they’re very open to ideas. When I suggested we create a composite logo together, they gave me the full liberty to do so, adapting it into a Hyundai design and co-developing guidelines for both their local companies and for our local subsidiaries. I worked with Greenwich on the composite logo development, and we also created the strategic technical partners’ ‘endorser’ logos, for both the corporate and the motorsport versions. We realised on that journey that we were adding many different layers, so there was a concern about how local teams would understand when to use the Hyundai motorsports endorser logo versus the corporate composite logo.
Simon came up with the creative idea of adding a ‘decision tree’ to the last page of the guidelines that gave an illustrative guide of which logo to use. For example, if they’re featuring a road car we point them towards a corporate endorsement, or if they’re doing a campaign that’s related to WRC, then we point them towards the motorsport version of the endorsed logo. These guidelines saved me a lot of trouble: it takes time and money for the local team to create their own artwork and it’s frustrating for them if I have to ask them to change it. Having very clear guidelines in place saved everyone a lot of time and energy.
"The first step is to make sure that our products are carbon neutral, so that Shell and Hyundai can demonstrate responsibility and commitment to their customers"
You have a great partnership with Hyundai that spans many years. What’s the secret to managing that relationship?
I think the key word to the answer is actually in the question itself – you mentioned partnership. At Shell we don’t use the word partnership lightly. With true partners, we hold hands and go on a journey together. The partnership between Shell and Hyundai is not like a buyer and supplier relationship; both companies work very closely to resolve business issues together and are working towards building the future.
We recently renewed our global partnership, and the emphasis is not on the past; it’s not on now; it’s on the future. In a lot of buyer/supplier relationships, the focus is on the immediate commercial outcome, but this relationship is way beyond just a buyer and supplier relationship. It’s really building a partnership together, creating a lot of initiatives for the future. And not only for our companies but also building the future for the community. That’s what differentiates this partnership from other customer relationships.
A lot of trust, respect and collaboration goes into making this relationship a success. We must also appreciate the differences in cultural backgrounds, so as an international company we ensure we have people working with our OEM customers all over the world, and we appreciate different ways of working. Hyundai also embraces those cultural differences. All these elements have helped to create a strong partnership that has been going for many years.
Talking about the future leads us nicely into your industry-leading product, Shell Helix Ultra 0W Carbon Neutral lubricant, created in partnership with Hyundai. Why is this so significant to the business?
We believe this is going to be a ground-breaking product. It’s not available yet but I’m working with Greenwich Design on a launch campaign to market it across Europe. Going back to our partnership with Hyundai, we’ve fast-tracked the creation of this project to support both companies’ ambition of reducing carbon emissions over the next few years. If our OEM customers have a strong will to achieve an ambition that is in line with our own aspirations, Shell will embrace that and help them to achieve their targets.
We’re not saying we’re going to be carbon neutral overnight, but we are taking baby steps to achieve that. The first step is to make sure that our products are carbon neutral, so that Shell and Hyundai can demonstrate responsibility and commitment to their customers, who in turn can be responsible when they return to the workshop to get their cars serviced by requesting a Shell carbon neutral lubricant.
The way it works is we account for all the C02 emissions created across Shell Helix Ultra 0W Carbon Neutral lubricant’s lifecycle from cradle to grave including base oil refinery production, transportation, usage, and end-of-life treatment. We’ve also created sustainable packaging made from up to 40% recycled plastic. To compensate for unavoidable emissions, we use a carbon credit offsetting programme. One carbon credit is issued to represent the avoidance or removal of one tonne of C02 and invested in Shell’s global portfolio of Nature-based Solutions, projects designed to protect, create or redevelop natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and wetlands.
We know that sustainability and the environment are important to our consumers, so this is a very important initial step for us on the journey. Of course, there are other initiatives that we’re working on, but lubricants is close to my heart and I think this will be a ground-breaking product when we launch it. We’re working with Greenwich Design on the launch and I’m relying on Dan to come up with a brilliant campaign to help us to articulate the values of the products so that we can bang on our drum to tell people that, together with Hyundai, we are at the forefront of this carbon neutral journey.
“It’s the trust and the profession-alism of the Greenwich team that I’ve relied on all these years. They never fail me.”
Shell’s sponsorship of the Hyundai WRC team must have put your lubricants to the test under the most gruelling conditions! Tell us a little bit about the WRC partnership and why it’s important for Shell?
This is the most fun part of my job! The WRC platform is key for Hyundai to demonstrate their technology leadership, and as a business partner, we are delighted to support the WRC team. In a rally race, the road and the weather conditions can be very unpredictable, so you need to have the best lubricants to protect your engine. It’s our job to provide them with fit for purpose lubricants to protect the engine and even enhance engine performance under those extreme conditions.
The sponsorship platform also provides us with unique access to rally, which we can offer to our customers. This is a key differentiator for Shell, and ultimately the WRC is a great marketing activation platform that Shell leverages to deliver commercial outcomes. There’s a lot for us to explore with Hyundai motorsports, and we work with the local markets to activate those opportunities. We’re not running a programme that’s taking people to watch a race – we’re not a sport event management company – but we can motivate the local markets to utilise the platform to maximise commercial outcome, and that’s what’s most important about the platform for us.
Finally, you’ve worked with Greenwich Design for a number of years now; what is it you enjoy about working with the team?
It’s the trust and the professionalism of the Greenwich team that I’ve relied on all these years. When I provide the team with a brief, I know what to expect back, both in terms of the amount of work they put in and the quality of the work. They never fail me. As a client, the most important thing for me is having an agency that I can trust and rely on – that’s what’s kept this relationship going for so long.